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Poster: Capt. Cook Date: Oct 26, 2006 10:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: First Set Songs

Liam mentioned something about first set and second set songs - To me Birdsong is a first set song. I was at the 7-04-81 Manor Downs show when they played Birdsong in the second set and the real heads were disappointed. On the other hand they closed the first set with China/Rider, which I always considered a second set opener. I hate predictable music and I love when the band would mix it up - opening with Morning Dew as in 9-27-72 or Help/Slip/Franklins 0n 5-09-77. It seemed as the 80's and 90's wore on the predictable became common place.

Others-
Ship of Fools, Wharf Rat, Stella Blue, Black Peter, China Doll - why where these songs always played in the Second Set?
Candyman, To Lay Me Down, It Must Have Been The Roses, High Time - almost always in the first set.

There are patterns that begin to emerge...





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Poster: patkelley Date: Oct 27, 2006 3:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First Set Songs

It seems to me that the first set usually (at least in the late 70s onward) contained a nice rockin opener, then some blues and some cowboy tunes, a Dylan tune, maybe a Garcia ballad, and then a long-format jam or two they could stretch out on (thing cassidy>deal, or let it grow>deal, or bird song>promised land). Second set seemed to open with a combo (china>rider, scarlet>fire, help>slip>franklin's), then another jammy one or two, maybe a Playin' in the John combo. Afther this, Drums and Space, then a contemplative song and maybe another rocker. Then a "closer" (NFA, Around, etc.) Finally, it seems to me that if the closer was a real rocker, the encore would be a slower one, and vice versa. In this paradigm (which Phil referred to as "ossification"), the nomenclature of "first set" and "second set" songs seems to make sense. Thoughts?

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Oct 29, 2006 2:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First Set Songs

West LA in the second set doesn't fit. However, you may be very surprised to hear that Friend of the devil opened the Foxboro Mass second set in 89 and it works nicely. Now high time....is it a first or second set song? I always liked it in the second.

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Poster: not_a_typical_daydream Date: Oct 26, 2006 10:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First Set Songs

Very good point, I don't ever remember seeing Scarlet/Fire in any first set. Other than 2/26/77, I haven't seen too many Terrapin's in the first set either. But, I have always liked Terrapin>Drums>Other One type jams that go on for days.
IMHO, the Help>Slip>Franklin's is the perfect set opener, those first two notes of Help get me going every time.
Hang loose.

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Poster: NotQuiteintheWayYet Date: Oct 27, 2006 2:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First Set Songs

Scarlet was a first set, stand alone song in 76. FIre didn't appear until 77. I think early part of 77 there were Scarlet/Fires that closed the 1st set. Heck, I am sure that Lakeland FL spring 77 had a first set scarlet/fire, and there were others around then. I even have this odd feeling that there was a show that opened with it, but I think it was all second set after 79 or so.

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Poster: not_a_typical_daydream Date: Oct 27, 2006 7:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First Set Songs

You are right, after I posted that, I went looking at some 77's and found on 5/13, 5/17, and 5/21 there were Scarlet/Fire's in the first set.
I also found on 5/1/77 there was a Estimated and a Samson in the first set. I think I need more time to DL and listen to all this stuff.

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Poster: Max Chorak Date: Oct 26, 2006 10:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First Set Songs

From what I have thought at least... the first set songs are almost always non-jam songs... me n my uncle, roses, direwolf, etc... the second set however. thats jam station :) you finish up a quick clean first set, and then go all out with all the time you have left, and make it nasty. just my .02 cents. :P

-max

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Poster: deadmax Date: Oct 27, 2006 6:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First Set Songs

The best 2nd set song opening up the 1st I saw was Playin in the Band at some venue in the early 80's .

Also saw Morning Dew open the show at Greeks 85 but it was a kind of weird/good show.

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Poster: pnc Date: Oct 27, 2006 7:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First Set Songs

there were a couple playin'>crazy fingers first set openers openers i remember seeing. i really liked that. i also saw scarlet orphaned in the first set in '87. that was kinda cool. and a help>slip>franks first set closer. liked that too...

i don't know. there were some songs that were interchangeable. Let it Grow for one, Bertha for another. i guess as long as it was well played, i'd take what ever they wanted to play. even though i remember a greatest story in the second set, and feeling gyped. but that song kinda sucked after '72...

anyway, i'd take any of it, any day now....

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Poster: The Bopper Date: Oct 27, 2006 11:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First Set Songs

I'd have to agree that Bertha was the one song that defies any 1st/2nd set rules. It shows up as first set opener (most common), but it wasn't unheard of to get it as a first set closer or even mid first set. And then on occasion is could be played anywhere in the 2nd set.

My favorite spot for Bertha, which is one of my favorite tunes was when it was played pre-drums during the 2nd set. A couple of my favorite examples...9/26/81 and 6/24/84.

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Poster: pnc Date: Oct 28, 2006 6:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First Set Songs

yeah...i always liked bertha>miracle in the second set. definately not a tour de force of improv rock like the boys were famous for delivering, but good times none the less.

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Oct 27, 2006 7:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First Set Songs

I was not a fan of seeing most first set songs in the second set. I never warmed to the idea of LLR or Roses being a 2nd set tune. I have to disagree with the Capt about Bird Song however. I always thought that Bird Song, with it's great jam, was more suited for the second set, so when they played it there in Manor Downs '81, I was thrilled!! I also loved seeing Let It Grow and Half Step in set 2 occassionally. Too many times, however, I saw LLR, CC Rider, Roses, Ramble On Rose, Big Railroad Blues etc in set 2, and it was a letdown. As far as my personal experience at a show, the worst example of a first set tune being out of place was 12-31-82 when Jerry, who seemed to be noodling the first notes of GDTRFB, paused and then played Deal out of Drums > Space > NFA, such a Buzzkill!!!

On the flip side, I generally enjoyed seeing 2nd set songs, or extended jams, being played in set 1. I always loved seeing a good Half Step > Franklin's to start a show (i.e. the 30 minute version from 10-28-79) and the 6-8-80 UJB> Playin > UJB to kick off the first set is one of the highlights of my concert going experiences.The Samson & Delilah later in the same first set was, likewise a nice surprise. I also liked it when China Cat > Rider was played in set 1, either the rare first song (The only time I personally saw it start a show was 10-31-79) or to end the set, which I witnessed more often.

This post was modified by Purple Gel on 2006-10-27 14:47:35

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Poster: TheDaliTrauma Date: Oct 27, 2006 8:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First Set Songs

Don't forget the bizarro 1st Set Dark Star->Promised Land 8/15/91 at Shoreline. Or the 'Eyes' opener 6/17/91

I remember when the new batch of songs popped up 92-93 and 'Wave to the Wind' and 'So Many Roads' showed up in the first and second sets or 'Corinna'...christ.

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Poster: elkdog Date: Oct 27, 2006 2:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First Set Songs

I've seen interviews with Bruce where he talked about railing against the 1st set/ 2nd set conventions. I think he said he suggested opening the show with Wharf Rat, an idea which was not received well. I'd wager, though, that those 1st set oddities in '91 were his idea. Just another reason to like him, I suppose.

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Poster: TheDaliTrauma Date: Oct 29, 2006 8:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First Set Songs

I think I remember reading an interview with Vince where he said something along the same lines; "Let's open second set with Drums! Let's play 'Born Cross Eyed'" Vinnie did bring back 'Here Comes Sunshine'